- Can you think of a time where you had high expectations for something, only to be let down?
- In certain seasons of life, there may be a feeling of uncertainty where you are not sure what your future will hold, or what the next step or decision should be. Have you ever been in that season, are you going through that season now, or have you come from that season where you could speak the hope and peace of Jesus to others?
We are all human, we all sin and fall short, but that does not mean that Jesus does not love us. In the message this weekend, Pastor Todd mentioned that Jesus is not surprised by our humanity and no matter what we do Jesus still loves us.
In John 21, we read the story of Peter and some of the disciples fishing on a boat and they didn’t catch anything, only to then have Jesus appear and hear Him say, “cast your nets on the other side of the boat.” At this time, Peter had just denied Jesus 3 times and was carrying around the guilt of letting Jesus down. Many of us have been there. We have just blown it, made a mistake, only to then feel like a failure and that we have let God down. Pastor Todd mentioned that just because you blew it, it doesn’t mean it is over. God is still working and has a purpose and a plan for your life. Read John 21:1-14 aloud.
John 21:6 says – He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
- Sometimes what is asked by God for us to do doesn’t make sense, as casting the net on the other side of the boat, but what God is asking for is total trust in Him. Have you ever had a time when you were asked by God to do something that just didn’t make sense at the time?
Many times, when we sin, we tend to run away from God. But God wants us to immediately turn and run back to Him. We can learn from this account with Peter that when we stay stuck in our preferences or we go back to the old way of life we were living, we will always come up empty. Jesus is the one who knows where the fish are. He is the one that knows what we are looking for and what we need. When we put our trust and hope in Jesus, we will come up out of the water with more than we can even contain.
- Are there any areas in your life where you feel the Holy Spirit telling you to do something, but you are resisting?
- Pastor Todd mentioned that sometimes the devil brings up the past, but it is only because he is running out of material. Are there areas in your life where you feel your past creeping up and it keeps reminding you of your mistakes? You may have made a mistake, but you are not a mistake. What can you do today to give that over to God and run in His direction and listen to all that God has for you?
As we look through scripture, we see so many people who are strong followers of God, and they are doing amazing things throughout history. We can also see that God uses broken people. God doesn’t care what your past is. He cares what your future is and the relationship you have with Him. The Lord wants our complete love. In John 21:15-17, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loves Him, but what Jesus was really seeking was Peter’s response to Agape love. Agape love is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love. We walk around saying we love many things, a superficial love, but what Agape love means is so much deeper than that. It is the highest of the four types of love referenced in the Bible. Jesus was pointing out to Peter that if he loved Him, he needs to serve Him; he needed to commit his life to Him. Read John 21:15-17 aloud.
- Daily we say we love our outfit, we love our food, we love our friends, etc. These are all superficial loves, and Jesus wants to be loved so much deeper than that. He wants more than a quick, superficial love from you. How would you respond if Jesus asked you, “Do you love me? Do you really love me?”
- Are you willing to live an Agape life? Are you willing to serve God with a selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love? If not, that’s ok right now. Peter wasn’t ready for that either, but Jesus came down to his level of love and met Peter where he was. Jesus will meet you where you are. He wants so much for you. God will trust you again if you have made a mistake. He will use you again if you have stepped away. He just wants you to love Him in whatever love you can feel for Him at this moment. What do you think is a step you could take to grow in your love for Jesus?
Some key points to keep thinking about:
- Listen to Jesus and Do What He Says.
- How can you listen more so that you hear clearly what God has for you?
- What can you do today to start slowing down and start listening and obeying the call of God on your life?
- Don’t Put a Period Where God puts a Comma.
- Think about a past failure. You may have felt that you just couldn’t get past it and that the relationship or situation was over. Was there possibly a comma, just waiting for the remainder of YOUR story?
- You may not be able to make a brand-new start, but you can start today to make a brand-new future.
- What are you holding on to that is preventing you from the future God has for you?
- What is something you can do today to start creating a new future and live a life more for God?
- Commit to joining a group if you are not already a part of one.
- Find someone who will hold you accountable and keep you focused on the truth.
- What action do you need to take this week to start listening and obeying God’s call on your life?
- Every day this week: Speak truth over your life and give over to God your past failures.
Prayer requests from others in your group.